A poll recently found that only 55 percent of 1,000 randomly selected Americans believe Joe Paterno was not "accused of molesting children."
Documentary filmmaker John Ziegler, founder of FramingPaterno.com, administered a scientific poll conducted by the Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research firm, which shows that much of the nation is getting the facts wrong about the case surrounding former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 counts of sexually abusing ten boys. Some of the offenses occurred on Penn State's campus.
An independent investigation conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh found that the late head coach Paterno and other administrators, including former Penn State President Graham Spanier, knew about the abuse and did not report it to police.
Neither Spanier nor Paterno have been criminally charged, but two former administrators, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, await a trial on failure to report suspected abuse and perjury charges related to the case.
Though Ziegler did not attend Penn State, he grew up in Pennsylvania and said he has always liked Paterno. But his main reason for throwing so much interest into the story is because of its "injustice," he said.
"Based upon the facts, it's one of the worst media-created injustices in modern history," he said.
But 52 percent of the nation believes the media has been accurate and fair in their coverage of the sex abuse case, according to poll.
Results from the poll also manifested that 68 percent of the poll-takers believe Penn State "fired a coach of a major men's sports program in 2011 for sexually abusing young boys." Only one percent of those polled correctly identified that Syracuse University was the university involved.
The university is declining to comment on the poll, Penn State spokesman David LaTorre said.
One of the main reasons Ziegler hired the polling firm, he said, was to prove to the world that the media has created a "false narrative" about Penn State.
The WPA polling firm reached out to 1,000 people across the country -- similar to the way political polls are conducted -- by phone to assure they had a widespread demographic.
He said he reached out to WPA to create a scientific survey that would use the technology and resources to gain the most accurate response. Ziegler came up with the subject of the poll and the firm formulated the ten questions that we asked.
Seven of the ten questions that were asked revolved around “Pro-Paterno” facts that the media tend to ignore, according to a press release issued regarding the poll. The success rate of each of those questions ranged from nine percent to 25 percent.
And with the "sophisticated sampling" taken by the outsourced company, Ziegler said he reached his goal of proving the media’s harm to the nation in covering this event.
FramingPaterno.com, which hosts the results from the nationwide poll, is how he was able to garner monetary support for his endeavor, practically overnight.
"Within 24 hours, I had to put up a notice that stopped people from donating," he said.
Ziegler said he also looks to make a documentary that embodies the "ignorance" and "injustice" surrounding Penn State. He said he will be at the first football game of the season conducting interviews to seek the truth.
"We've proven our case," he said. "We're just waiting for people to take notice."